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Financial decline and innovation (NWO-Veni)

The current financial crisis has resulted in a situation of financial decline for many public administrations. Practically, innovation is seen by many as crucial to uphold and improve public service delivery during times of financial hardship. Theoretically, however, the relationship between decline and innovation is ambivalent. On the one hand, a decrease in resources is said to be positively related to innovation: necessity is the mother of invention. On the other hand, organizational decline is claimed to be negatively related to innovation: necessity is the mother of rigidity. This research project is therefore aimed at the following question: Can public organizations be innovative during financial stress?

This research is supported by a Veni Grant of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) under project number 016.Veni.175.178.

You can read more information in an interview about this research project here. My theoretical article in Perspectives on Public Management and Governance outlines the project’s central argument that targeted and open cutback management strategies can foster innovation, and identifies environmental and organizational antecedents of such strategies.

This page will be updated with upcoming deliverables of the project.